Four primary raw materials are utilised in the production of glass: silica sand, soda ash, dolomite, and limestone. In many instances, glass fragments known as cullet are added to these raw materials to aid in their melting when heated.
There are numerous methods for producing glass, depending on the desired final product. Regardless of the type of glass being produced, the process begins by gently melting the raw components in a furnace at roughly 2,550 degrees Fahrenheit. The molten components are then rapidly heated to 2,800 degrees Fahrenheit so that the raw elements can be thoroughly combined.
Allowing the molten raw materials to flow out of the furnace and onto a bed of molten tin produces sheet or plate glass. From then, the molten glass is allowed to slowly cool on the molten tin, which alters the glass’s structure to make it much stronger and cuttable.
The molten glass can also be shaped in other ways, such as by blowing air into it; this technique is frequently used to create cups, beads, and other glassware.